Friday, December 15, 2017 [Tweets] [Favorites]

App Store Introductory Pricing

Apple:

To attract new subscribers, apps with auto-renewable subscriptions can offer a discounted price or a free trial for a limited time at the beginning of a subscription. You can offer one of the following introductory price types per subscription, per territory:

Pay as you go. New subscribers pay an introductory price each billing period for a specific duration — for example, $1.99 per month for 3 months for a subscription with a standard price of $9.99 per month. This type may be useful if you want to attract price-sensitive users with a recurring discount without having to offer that price for the lifetime of the subscription.

Pay up front. New subscribers pay a one-time introductory price for a specific duration — for example, $9.99 for 6 months for a subscription with a standard price of $39.99 per year. This type may be useful if you want to offer an extended introductory experience that gives users time to enjoy the subscription before the next renewal.

Free trial. New subscribers access your subscription for free for a specific duration. Their subscription begins immediately but they won’t be billed until the free trial period is over. This type may be useful if you want to give users the ability to try out your subscription with the option to cancel before billing occurs.

This is good news for apps that are suitable for subscriptions and which can do something useful for non-subscribers. I still fail to see how all this complication (for both users and developers) is better than offering traditional trials.

But Apple does now let you buy before the app is even available. Juli Clover:

Apple is implementing a new feature that allows developers to offer pre-orders for unreleased apps, letting customers purchase popular apps ahead of their release date.

I guess this is supposed to help with marketing for certain types of apps. Previously, it was only available to Super Mario Run. The best news, in my opinion, is that the pre-order feature is launching simultaneously for iOS and Mac.

Update (2018-01-22): Pre-orders are buggy on the Mac.

5 Comments

It is not clear to me why anyone would wish to pay in advance for an app that's not available (in effect, giving the richest company in the world an interest-free loan).

As a colleague put it: What value does a preorder have in a world of infinite stock and no shipping time?

"It is not clear to me why anyone would wish to pay in advance for an app that's not available"

For the exact same reason that I occasionally pre-order books and music, including digital versions: because I'm thinking about it now, I know for sure that I want to read/listen to it, and I may well forget about it by the time it's actually released.

Pre-ordering = I don't have to think about it, and I know it'll show up at my door or on my device.

"giving the richest company in the world an interest-free loan"

Y'know, if I pre-order a $20 item 2 months early, which seems excessive on both counts for an app, that rich company is making well under a penny in interest. After much consideration, playing with spreadsheets, and consulting with lifestyle and personal finance experts, I've decided it's a reasonable convenience charge.

@Ben: The loan would be only between the release date and the download one.

"With paid apps, the purchase price will be charged when the app is released, not before."

One Interesting things about the pre order is the consumer paid the lowest price during the pre order period if there are changes. Which means Apps developer can now offer something like Macheist, the more pre order an App the cheaper it is.

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